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Mitsubishi Philippines: No Recall on Montero Sport Vehicles

There would be no recall on Montero Sport utility vehicles in the country amid calls for its pullout from the market, a Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) official said.

In a press briefing held Tuesday, MMPC First Vice President for Marketing Services Froilan Dytianquin said sudden unintended acceleration (SUA) complaints insinuating that the Montero Sport is defective are without any basis.

Dytianquin stressed that based on tests and investigations made by Japan-based Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC) regarding SUA complaints on Montero Sport units, it was found that the model has no mechanical or electronic defects.

“SUA is not possible on the Montero Sport from a technical viewpoint. There are safety check systems on the Montero Sport electronics which will eventually allow the Montero Sport to go to a safe mode in case sensors fail,” he said.

The MMPC official also clarified that a recall is only done if there are flaws in the design, mechanical, and electronics aspects of the vehicle.

“There is no sign of a flaw or defect on the Montero and so there is no reason for us to recall this model,” Dytianquin said.

He also ruled out all the potential causes of alleged SUA cases such as pedal entrapment, pedal misapplication, mechanical/electronic failure, and sticky accelerator pedal as these cannot occur due to the various safety features installed in the model.

The MMPC official also pointed out that the manufacturer has already put in place several measures to ensure the safety of its customers, including the mandatory use of authorized, genuine floor mats effective April 2011 to ensure no pedal entrapment.

Dytianquin likewise mentioned that MMPC has issued a technical service letter regarding installation of caution sticker in front of the shift knob, which already covered 17,932 vehicles as of November 28 this year.

Besides these measures, he said product enhancements have likewise been introduced. These include the brake override system, wherein if you step on the brake and accelerate pedals at same time, an electronic control unit will prioritize the brakes and shut off fuel supply to the engine; and the shift lock system, which prevents vehicles from being shifted out of the “P” (park) position unless the brake pedal is depressed to prevent various unsafe conditions.

To date, there had been 97 reported SUA cases. However, most of these were dismissed and resolved and only two cases remain pending for resolution.

Thirteen of these cases have been filed with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Dytianquin said MMPC welcomes DTI’s move to investigate this matter, which commences today.

“We feel that this investigation will be fair and we will be fully cooperating. We are confident that we will be vindicated,” Dytianquin said.

“Although the timing is quite odd because the issue resurfaced now when we are pre-selling the all-new Montero,” he said.